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Archive for November, 2008

Dallas 2, San Jose 6
I was visiting my lovely sister (in Tulsa) for Thanksgiving with the family and did not hear what happened Friday night against the San Jose Sharks. My family probably doesn’t realize how lucky they are that I didn’t.

When I got home Saturday night, I found that my TiVo hadn’t recorded the Sharks game. Apparently there had been a power outage and the box didn’t boot back up properly. Although I’m pretty sure it just knew I wasn’t going to want to see it.

Dallas 4, Minnesota 3
When I drove up Wednesday night, I managed to hear 90% of the Minnesota game on WBAP. It really makes the 4½-hour trip go by fast when you’re struggling to hear Ralph and Razor through all the static. And just when I thought I’d lost the game, it started coming in loud and clear, so I got to hear the Stars rally to win the game. That James Neal is a keeper.

I was in a great mood the whole rest of the trip.

This is all I care about now. I am beating my head against a brick wall, trying to express my frustration with all of the moves Hull and Jackson have made since taking over. I pretty much don’t like any of them. But they don’t care what I think, and screeching about it all the time only makes me feel bad. (Well, me and whomever I’m screeching at.)

Wins make me feel better and losses make me upset. I don’t care how they get a win, and picking apart the the losses, trying to find reasons, is a loser’s battle.

Just one more note, though, before I go back to being philosophical. Okay, two notes. Turco needs to straighten out. He’s killing us. And Avery is still showing me nothing.

I’m glad I got to hear the Wild win, and I’m kind of glad I was forced to miss that Sharks debacle.

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Dallas 3, Philadelphia 4

I’m going to try to stay on the sunny side of this street.

Modano turned in another great game. He had two picturesque goals from his office in the slot. He spent all the rest of his time reading plays and making steals. He’s just really looking good, all around. He played with Eriksson on his line and just like he does with everybody else, Loui has chemistry with him. Modano played some wing with Brad Richards, too, and got one of his goals that way.

Landon Wilson got his first goal as a Dallas Star. He’s Associate Coach Rick Wilson’s son.

Chris Conner made quite a few good plays. Everybody talks about how fast he is and it is evident. He would kind of lull the defender into thinking he was stopping, then zip past him. He came close a few times.

We didn’t give up a power-play goal! Of course, the Flyers only got one power play. But that’s good, too! And, we only gave up four goals! Not five!

I’m not going to talk about the 6-on-3 power play at the very end that could have tied the game if they had only TAKEN A SHOT, or how the Flyers scored the go-ahead goal while Sydor was inexplicably on his hands and knees next to the net. And I’m not going to talk about how poor Steve Ott broke his hand and now we’ve lost another one of our best penalty killers for at least a month. And I’m not going to talk about how we lost. Again.

Those things are all over there on the dark side of the street. I’m staying over here on the sunny side.

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Last season, the Stars had the second-best penalty kill in the league. These were our penalty killers, in order of short-handed time-on-ice per game.

2007-08:
Mattias Norstrom – 3:14 (retired)
Sergei Zubov – 3:02
Philippe Boucher – 2:49 (traded)
Stu Barnes – 2:37 (retired)
Jere Lehtinen – 2:27 (injured)
Trevor Daley – 2:24
Steve Ott – 2:21 (injured)
Niklas Hagman – 2:16 (released)
Matt Niskanen – 2:11 (scratched)
Stephane Robidas – 2:11
Nicklas Grossman – 2:11
Mike Modano – 1:57
Brenden Morrow – 1:44 (injured)
Mark Fistric – 1:17 (demoted)

These are the ones we have left.

2008-09:
Stephane Robidas – 2:38
Trevor Daley – 2:34
Nicklas Grossman – 2:23
Mike Modano – 1:55
Sergei Zubov – 1:52

Sure, lots of other guys are out there on the penalty kill now, but they’re not that good at it.

(more…)

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Dallas 1, Anaheim 2 (SO)

The fact that we consistently lose shootouts this season is not endearing it to me one little bit. I already hated the shootout and now I hate it more.

I thought they did pretty well, considering. A 1-1 tie at the end of overtime is pretty good for this bunch. Eriksson, again, looked great. He got the one goal, but he also stole a ton of pucks.

Loui Eriksson saw that Trevor Daley was going to get away and into the zone with speed, so he stayed up with him and went straight to the net so that Daley could get him the puck. For his troubles, he earned a goal.

Sean Avery could take a lesson from him. In the first period, Mike Ribeiro went in on a breakaway and instead of keeping up with him and going to the net, Avery stood up when he hit the blue line and just coasted in, watching Ribs being forced to shoot because he didn’t have anybody to pass to. It was very similar to the icing coast. I was yelling at the TV, “Keep moving! Keep going! Why are you stopping?!!” GAH!

As Razor pointed out several times, Daley had a really good game, too. He had a lot of chances and played very well on the defensive side, to go along with his assist on the only goal.

I’m taking it one game at a time right now. This one wasn’t that bad.

Update: I almost forgot! Big thanks to Jeff K who runs the music at the AAC! Tonight, he played Raffi’s Banana Phone Song during a goal review and it was adorable! Thanks to Amy at Shots Off the Crossbar for suggesting that I suggest it to Jeff K. I bet you didn’t think he’d do it, did you, Amy? Neither did I!

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I had a big lecture planned about where the Stars are right now and what they need to do and whether I thought they could do it, but I think I might shelve that right now.

This news of Brenden’s injury is making me a little more philosophical about the whole thing. I feel sure that they’re all very upset about this. I know Morrow has got to be beside himself with frustration. Maybe it will be the thing that brings the team together for a change.

I feel terrible that this has happened. Maybe I should ease up on them for a little while.

In happier news:
Boucher seems to be doing fine. Probably doing better there than he could here. Seth, from Empty Netters, says this about Bouche:

We really like what we saw out of Boucher. He seemed very comfortable again with his new teammates and just seemed like he belonged if that makes sense.

-We would say Boucher contributed more to the Penguins last night than Darryl Sydor did at any point this season.

He was a plus-2 for the game and logged more ice time than any other Pen, except for Sidney Crosby. So he hasn’t exactly taken Sydor’s spot (which was mostly in the pressbox). Except for the whole thing where he was sent away from his wife and young children, he might make out pretty well on this deal.

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Poor Morrow is going to need surgery on his knee and will likely be out six months. That would put us well into May, and I was already doubting we’d still be playing hockey then.

He has got to be devastated, just like the rest of us are. I’m sure the last thing he wants is to have to leave the team at a time like this.

The thing that amazes me, though, is that he tore his ACL in the middle of a game but managed to get up and leave the ice without Ralph and Razor noticing. It wasn’t until he started missing shifts that they wondered where he was.

The same thing happened when he got his wrist sliced open by a skate a couple of seasons ago. He jumped up and raced off the ice and down the tunnel without anybody noticing. The guys in the truck had to hunt down the video of it later.

He’s a tough dude. And this is bad, bad, bad news.

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Dallas 3, Chicago 6

Bad:

  • Five goals. AGAIN.
  • Collapsed like pouting children after giving up the late goal in the first.
  • Had wonderful first period and couldn’t keep it going.
  • Somehow, Darryl Sydor wasn’t the miracle cure he’s been made out to be.*
  • Morrow missed shifts at the end.
  • Another loss in a long string of them.

Good:

  • Modano’s play. Tonight, after the first period, he was the only one with any determination, it seemed.
  • …(cricket sounds)

I wonder what knee-jerk move Brett Hull and Les Jackson are going to make, now.

It’s possible that the GMs have done Boucher a favor.

*Look, I understand that he wasn’t going to be, but everybody that mentioned his name in the last week has spoken so reverently about how he’ll turn everybody around with just one rousing locker-room speech. Instead, he completely screened Marty on the one goal, and threw himself out of position at least twice by leaving his feet to block a shot that never came.

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